1st Edition

Irish Women in the First World War Era Irish Women’s Lives, 1914-18

Edited By Jennifer Redmond, Elaine Farrell Copyright 2020
    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    170 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book is the first collection of essays to focus exclusively on Irish women’s experiences in the First World War period, 1914-18, across the island of Ireland, contextualising the wartime realities of women’s lives in a changing political landscape.

    The essays consider experiences ranging from the everyday realities of poverty and deprivation, to the contributions made to the war effort by women through philanthropy and by working directly with refugees. Gendered norms and assumptions about women’s behaviour are critically analysed, from the rhetoric surrounding ‘separation women’ and their use of alcohol, to the navigation of public spaces and the attempts to deter women from perceived immoral behaviour. Political life is also examined by leading scholars in the field, including accounts from women on both sides of the ‘Irish question’ and the impact the war had on their activism and ambitions. Finally, new light is shed on the experiences of women working in munitions factories around Ireland and the complexity of this work in the Irish context is explored. Throughout, it is asserted that while there were many commonalities in women’s experiences throughout the British and Irish Isles at this time, the particular political context of Ireland added a different, and in many respects an unexamined, dimension.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of Women’s History Review.

    1. Introduction: War Within and Without: Irish women in the First World War era

    Jennifer Redmond and Elaine Farrell

    2. ‘Growing Up Poor’: child welfare, motherhood and the State during the First World War

    Sarah-Anne Buckley

    3. Titled Women and Voluntary War Work in Ireland during the First World War: a case study of Ethel, Lady Inchiquin

    Maeve O’Riordan

    4. Women and Alcohol During the First World War in Ireland

    Holly Dunbar

    5. Relief Work and Refugees: Susanne Rouviere Day (1876–1964) on war as women’s business

    Sandra McAvoy

    6. The Dangers and Temptations of the Street: managing female behaviour in Belfast during the First World War

    Leanne McCormick

    7. New Issues and Old: women and politics in Ireland, 1914–1918

    Senia Pašeta

    8. Women, War Work and the State in Ireland, 1914–1918

    Deborah Thom

    9. Unionism, Orangeism and War

    Diane Urquhart


    Jennifer Redmond is a Lecturer in Twentieth Century Irish History at Maynooth University, Ireland, lecturing in Irish social, political, gender, and demographic history. She has published in these areas, including her monograph, Moving Histories: Irish Women’s Migration to Britain from Independence to Republic (2018).

    Elaine Farrell is a Senior Lecturer in Irish Social History at Queen’s University Belfast, UK. Her research and publications have focused on gender and crime in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is currently working on the AHRC-funded ‘Bad Bridget’ project, a study of criminal and deviant Irish women in North America, 1838-1918.

    "Jennifer Redmond and Elaine Farrell’s Irish Women in the First World War Era offers a comprehensive and extremely thorough examination of Irish women’s lives during the 1914–1918 era. The collection successfully brings women back from the margins of History and replaces Ireland in a world-context. Irish Women in the First World War Era was very much needed and represents a stepping stone for further research on the topic." - Rosanne Gallenne, University College Dublin